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After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britain
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After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britain

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  95 reviews
After more than four hundred years of Roman rule, the island its conquerors called Britannia was abandoned—left to its own devices as the Roman empire contracted in a futile effort to defend itself from the barbarian hordes encroaching upon its heart. As Britannia falls into anarchy and the city of Viroconium is left undefended, two cousins who remained behind when the imp ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Forge Books (first published February 9th 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,098)
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Colleen Martin
I'm a third of the way through and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET. My god, what a boring book.

Update 3/11/13: More than halfway through and STILL nothing happening. Jesus Christ, what's a girl gotta do to get some plot around here??

Final update (thank god) 3/19/13: What a disappointing, uninteresting waste of time. Disappointing because Morgan Llywelyn has been on my radar for a few years, she being a preeminent author of Irish historical fiction, but I've gotta say, if her other books are as lacklust
...more
Shelley Fearn
I see that not many have reviewed this novel and I wonder why? Llywelyn writes a credible story of Britain in the years following the end of Roman occupation. Perhaps they don't find the derring-do or romantic adventure found in books about the Roman legions or the days of Arthur. But in reality life was hard and to many it bordered on apocalyptic.

That's precisely what I found so interesting about the book. Dystopian literature is hot right now -- just look at Cormac McCarthy's The Road or eve
...more
Kara

After a beautiful prologue describing the history of England from the Ice Age to the Fall of Rome in lyrical prose and exquisite detail, we are then taken on a tour of the most boring apocalypse ever!

Because make no mistake, the Dark Ages were the very definition of a post-apocalyptic world, and Llywelyn has researched and reported on that world here to the last detail, but Nothing. Happens.

I'm sorry, call me old fashioned, but I demand my books have plots.
...more
Judy
This was an interesting book about Britain after the last Roman Legion left. It was actually NOT about King Arthur. I would recommend that any tea partier who thinks no government is a good thing read this book since it shows what happens to ordinary people when there is no law and order.
Sally
This book started out great with 2 very different characters, cousins, with long standing differences, but who complement each other. The last Roman legion has left Britain and civilization is tumbling. If you're one of the people trying to cope, what do you do? Gather an army and become a king? Or work with others to create some security. Well, with such a great beginning, the plot really disappointed me. Why did Dinas have to fail? Why didn't the cousins get together? And why include the horse ...more
Mimi
Llywelyn, who has written several books I've greatly enjoyed, addresses an interesting question. What happened in Britain when the Romans left? How did the people address living in a power vacuum? Unfortunately, she wrote a book with a big plot vacuum, so it isn't well answered. It is a question I will continue to contemplate, though.
J.S. Dunn
Below expectations, from an author who long ago had a part in my interest in early Ireland. Llywelyn should have stayed with writing for the young adult market, her watered-down versions of Irish myth where one fears the cliches will include a Disneyesque leprechaun tapping away on a shoe under a toadstool. The Prologue and Author's Note contain factual errors. One look at the Select Bibliography shows the obvious: this author has not read any research before the 1990s and much of it from the 19 ...more
Steven Malone
Though a nice enough read, After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britainis not my favorite of her books.

After Rome takes place in the years following the Roman Legion's with withdrawal from Britain in 410 B.C.E and shows the dangers and decisions faced by the Romanized Britons left behind in a now crumbling and defenseless nation.

As the two main characters struggle to rebuild a semblance of life and safety they gather allies and try to stay alive against the elements and encroaching Anglo/Saxons.

I felt
...more
Carolyn
Great book!
What happens to society when civilization breaks down? I see from previous reviews that some took it as a pro-government involvement book, but I guess I saw it differently. The Roman government so completely took over Britain, that, once the legions left, the people were completely helpless and in desperate need of guidance and good old fashioned work ethic. Also, the book refers to the fact that the Roman government did not take the threat of dangerous outside tribes seriously until
...more
Joe Kendall
So upon starting this book I was nervous. I had read some of the reviews and saw a lot of negative ones and very few positive. I have read many of Llywelyns books now and have enjoyed all of them, but I started this one with cautious expectations.

Now this book may not be one of her best ones, but I'm not really seeing what people were complaining about. Maybe they don't understand how historical fiction books often work. They aren't necessarily action packed with a huge battle scene at the end.
...more
Gordon
I was somewhat disappointed in this book since the author is a well known major award winner. This is the first of her books that I have read.

The strength of this book is in the strong characters. The two main characters are interesting and captivating. The supporting people and horse are sufficiently weird that they fit the time period.

The time period information is interesting but not detailed enough.

There was a lot of conflict with various ethnic groups but I felt there was no central confli
...more
Rio (Lynne)
Beautiful cover. Great premises for an amazing story. I have not read about this time period and I really looked forward to sinking my teeth into a new era. It started off interesting, but never actually went anywhere. I wanted more from the characters, who's personalities showed so much potential. Their stories had hope, but went flat. Too bad.
Diantha
I kept reading it for the description of England and life after Rome left,but I found the plot lacking and the story ran out of steam. Cadogan was the more interesting character of the cousins. Even the "mystery" of the murder felt tacked on. Disappointing
Eliz
i enjoyed this book but I suspect the author did not understand her audience, or else she likes to keep her literary jokes to herself way too much.

Dinas, is riding around with a fake holy grail in his saddle bag, goes to Tintagel, gets into a war with Gorlois, etc. This book is very much hitting the whole Uther Pendragon part of the Arthur Legend right in the heart.

Meanwhile his cousin Cadogan is slowly building the future with his town of mini-forts and fitting into the society that is, not w
...more
Kathy
I had read this book before, probably in 2013? Anyway, many people dislike the book. I liked it enough to get through it yet a second time. Why? The history and authentic feel of real life events without a great, dramatic plot for the main characters to play out in some heroic manner. Pretty good trick to allow people of that time to survive in the most challenging circumstances and manage to let life happen. I think that goal was successful. I must admit that I admired the "Lion" book by this a ...more
Becky Norman
I am a Morgan Llywelyn fan from way back. Way, way back. I adored Bard, Grania, Druids, and Lion of Ireland - they're some of my favourite books of all time. Yet her newest contributions have fallen short for me and I'm beginning to think it's because she's trying to condense too much into a shorter novel. I don't feel like I know the characters as well as I used to, and consequently I don't care about them as much.

After Rome, like the title suggests, take place in the years after the Romans re
...more
Kimberly
Finally, after years of meaning to try Morgan Llywelyn's writing and luckily for me she published After Rome in February and I figured it would be a great place to start with and it was.

While the book turned out to be different from what I thought it would be I still enjoyed it for what it was. Books set in Britain during the tumultuous time when the Romans vacated the island aren't all that plentiful so I'm glad to have found this one.

The novel follows two cousins over a period of five years wh
...more
Elizabeth Parsons
I hated this book. I could barely finish it. The characters are boring, static, and one-dimensional, there is no discernible plot, and the writing at times feels like I'm reading a high-school history textbook. Plus, about two-thirds of the way through the book, there's suddenly a three-year gap in events--not that I'm complaining, because if Llywelyn had included details about those three years the book would be even longer and more boring.

Also, Dinas annoys me to no end. He has less forethough
...more
DH Hanni
More like 3.5 stars. This was an interesting book with interesting characters. The book follows a pair of cousins, Cadogan and Dinas, who have very opposite personalities and who approach life very differently. The story is set in the UK after the Romans have left the area and as the Saxons and other 'barbarians' start invading. Once glorious Roman made cities are completely destoryed and there is no longer and centralized government.

Cadogan lives by himself in a house he built himself in the h
...more
Jarl Anderson
This is an apocalyptic story: bands of survivors try to eke out an existence after civilization has collapsed. However, in this case, the apocalypse is not the result of a nuclear war or zombie holocaust, but the collapse of the Roman empire, and the effect that it had on those who were "left behind" in Britannia.

As with other books in Llywelyn's more recent work ('Brendan,' 'The Greener Shore'), this novel is experimental and stripped-down, more of an exercise in mood and history than plot and
...more
Shari
Llywelyn is always a good read. She makes the past live and her Celtic novels are the best of their kind.

The disappearance of the Roman legions and administrators from Britannia left a void where a rule of Roman law and society had been absolute. They withdrew in force and left the island fair game for the restless barbarian societies looking for land and power.

The collapse of society's structure left the Britons shocked and dazed, unprepared for the resultant formless society that remained. Tho
...more
Raymee
After Rome is a historically interesting novel of aftermaths and new beginnings. The power vacuum of Rome Leaving Britannia is a rich backdrop for the main characters, who’s positioning in these events made me want to keep reading to see where they may go, and how their particular story turned out.

Some of these peoples are those formerly in power with the Romans sorting out where they now stand. Others are the disenfranchised who see new opportunity, or invaders sensing plunder in chaos.

Unfortun
...more
David
One of the most interesting (at least to me) periods in history is that of Post-Roman Britain, often called the "Dark Ages." Not a lot of historical information exists from this period so many writers take it upon themselves to visualize what life was like. Morgan Llywelyn does it very well. Her world is at once dark and forbidding while at the same time filled with the promise of greater things to come. She tells the tale through two cousins, once close but driven apart by events. Llywelyn desc ...more
Raymond Just
It's hard for me to give Ms. Llywelyn less than at least three stars on anything she writes. She's an amazing storyteller and has had a prolific career writing engrossing novel about the sagas of Ireland in various eras of history. Perhaps that it why After Rome falls a bit short - it takes place in Britain, not her own beloved Ireland, the first time I can remember her moving away from the Emerald Isle. The writing is deft, as usual, and the characters unique enough. But there is no real depth ...more
Lisa Horne
Not my favourite of Llywelyn's books, but still enjoyable She paints a pretty vivid picture of post-Rome Briton, and the chaos that Rome's departure left behind, but it's pace is quite slow, and the characters are just not engaging. I can think of few characters who annoyed me more than Quartilla.
She's an excellent author, but sadly, this book does not reflect that. Give this one a miss, and check out her other ones, like Grania, Red Branch, and Lion of Ireland.
Coleen Dailey
I have enjoyed every book she has written. This book is set in England right after the legions have pulled out and what the people have to do to survive. Maybe it will lead to another series that deals with English mythology as opposed to Irish. I recommend this to anyone who loves to read history.
Neill Smith
After the last legion left Brittania, civilization changed, at first slowly and then with greater speed. The local officials, British but trained by Rome, tried to carry on as they had been taught but without the legions to enforce the law small bands of local raiders began to loot. This was intensified by the influx of foreign plunderers: Saxon, Scoti, Picts, and others. Set against this background is the story of Dinas with grudges coming from his broken family and a desire to become a king, a ...more
Blaine
This book started off very slowly.....and progressed very slowly. I love this period in history but this novel just did not grab me. I like to finish a book once I commence it. I ended up reading two other books at the same time as this one. Very slow moving plot.
Nora Peevy
A light history of Britannia after Rome. The characters are enjoyable, but not very complicated, nor is the plot. My favorite character in the book is the stallion. I'm giving this three stars because it's written and researched well.
Lois Bryant
I would have enjoyed more "historical" in this historical novel. I generally enjoy Morgan Llywelyn and I would have thought this would be a perfect subject for her. Unfortunately, things didn't come together: weak plot, writing not up to her usual standards and little in the way of history.
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Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
More about Morgan Llywelyn...
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